American Idol 11 – Final 2 – What Do the Critics Say?

The American Idol 11 Top 4 performed 3 songs last night – judges’ pick, personal pick and Jimmy’s pick. . Read my Recap. Now, read what the rest of the blogosphere had to say about the performances.

On the scene at ‘American Idol’ finale: The audience at Nokia Theatre clearly liked Phillip Phillips better than Jessica Sanchez – That fact that Idol is better on TV became abundantly clear last night, as I was sitting in the audience of the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, where the show’s performance finale was shot and telecast live to the East Coast and the Midwest in front of 7,000 screaming fans. My seat was in the very back row, all but assuring that I had to watch what was playing out just a few hundred feet in front of me on the jumbo projection screens plastered on either side of the stage. Think of the situation as something like how you might experience a Britney Spears concert in a huge arena today and — even though she’d be on stage right in front of you — you’d still end up watching most everything on the screens provided. Sure, it was something to simply exist in the same space as Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips, as they tried to convince America to vote for them one final time, but just like, say, the Grammys or the Oscars, American Idol is a show that’s made to be watched from the comfort of your own home. – Entertainment Weekly

‘American Idol’ Recap: Jessica Sanchez Battles Phillip Phillips for Season 11’s Crown – Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips duked it out Tuesday night on American Idol’s penultimate performance show: in one corner, the 16-year-old powerhouse from Chula Vista, Calif., gave it all she had, starting off strong with an effortless Whitney Houston cover but losing steam on a boring ballad from the show’s storehouse of original songs. – Hollywood Reporter

‘American Idol’ Finale Recap: Jessica Sanchez And Phillip Phillips Perform Original Songs For The First Time – The end is nigh! After Tuesday’s (blissfully truncated) one-hour performance show, a night of furious vote-casting from people who still think that such things make a difference to a potential “American Idol” winner’s career, and a fluff-stuffed, two-hour results show on Wednesday night, we will finally have our next champion. Will it be Jessica Sanchez, the 16-year-old prodigy from San Diego, or Phillip Phillips, the 21-year-old pawn shop worker from Leesburg? Or have you given up caring, because your favorite was already eliminated? – Huffington Post

‘American Idol,’ Season 11 Finale: The Last Performances – Did the one save of the season pave the way for a title for Jessica Sanchez or did Jimmy Iovine hand Phillip Phillips the best song pick of the season last week, opening the door for him to capture the coveted Idol? And could the judges have been any less opinionated and fair-slash-even about handing out the compliments for the first two rounds? All of the work from an entire season landed on the stage tonight. Now, in the coming hours, America decides the fate of the two remaining contestants on “American Idol.” – Wall Street Journal

‘American Idol’: Phil Phillips steals final performance night – On the one hand, Jessica Sanchez, who’s made it this far based on the strength of her gorgeous voice and the surprise factor that it comes out of a tiny 16-year-old. On the other hand, Phillip Phillips, 21, who’s made it this far because he’s this year’s copy of an “Idol” perennial winner, the safe, scruffy white guy with the gravelly voice and guitar—though to be fair, Phil is a pleasant, winsome version of the type. And let us say right off, he has our undying admiration for declining to appear in Ford Music Video car promos all season. – Washington Post

‘American Idol’ recap: Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips vie for the win – Well, America, who will it be? Jessica Sanchez, the powerhouse singer with the gorgeous tone, total control and just enough grit to make it seem perfectly imperfect, or Phillip Phillips, the soulful crooner with a sound all his own? The 16-year-old with a sweet smile, a perhaps precocious taste for high heels and a passionate performance style, or the sly guy with a sneaky glint in his eye, a handsomely scruffy look, twitchy tendencies onstage and a steady insistence on doing things his own way? The girl, who’d be the first female winner in years and the only contestant ever to have made it to the finals after having been saved by the judges, or the boy, who resembles the show’s recent winners and has never been in real danger of elimination? – LA Times

‘American Idol’ Recap: Change Nothing – I know it’s felt like a lifetime, but that’s just because one of the most talented groups of singers this show has ever had the good luck to amass on one stage (like an actually talented flash mob) was forced to slog through weeks of vague theme shows, judges who seemed mostly incapable of putting together a coherent (let alone helpful) sentence, and a distracting amount of product integration. – Rolling Stone

‘American Idol’ Top 2 Recap: Battle Of The Opposites – Three seasons ago on “American Idol,” it was “the guy-next-door versus the guyliner.” This year, apparently there were a few layoffs in the Fox copywriting department, since the best slogan anyone could come up with for this week’s Season 11 showdown was the somewhat insulting-to-both-contestants “the musical artist versus the big ol’ voice.” Whatever. But I suppose it was an appropriate summation of the massive contrast between this year’s two “Idol” finalists, humble singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips and girl-wonder powerhouse Jessica Sanchez. –

Final Two Performance Show – Well, a girl can dream. As recently as last week, many Idol commentators, including your regular recapper Claire Zulkey, were calling the season for Jessica Sanchez, which is a nice thought that would be nicer if the proposed outcome wasn’t so damn boring. It’s funny, at the start of the live shows having a female winner for the first time in five years seemed like an electrifying, revolutionary possibility; now I find myself strangely excited for Phillip Phillips’ being crowned the winner if only for how blatantly it would signify that this particular starmaking mechanism is broken. Call it the Vote For The Worst appeal, if you will (who, incidentally, are pulling for P2 this year). And while it’s easy to sit back and say that the teenyboppers are just picking the closest thing to boyfriend material that this season has to offer, I’d posit that there’s a lot more going on behind this fifth consecutive occurrence of the White Guy With Guitar phenomenon. – AV Club

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  • Anonymous

    For the first time, I saw a lot of recaps bring up the fact that Idol has had so many male winners in a row. In the previous two years, I’d see maybe one or two articles about it at the end. But many of them I read last night mentioned that they’ve succumbed to the fact that Phil will win and that this trend isn’t going to stop any time soon, lol.

  • Frank

    Dear non-white, non-male, non-guitar playing singers,

    Audition for X-Factor or The Voice. You have no shot at winning American Idol anymore. If the talents like Jessica, Joshua, and Elise couldn’t stop a WGWG. No one can.

    Sincerely, Me.

  • Larc

    Not only that WGWGs are destined to win, but they don’t even have to be able to sing well to do it.

  • Anonymous

     Sadly, The Voice has it’s share of problems too (and that’s coming from someone like me who loves the show). I mean Jermaine winning over much better singers?
    I’m counting on Simon realizing that he got a little too cocky last year and hopefully Demi and Britney will vote for actual talent to go through, unlike Nicole and Paula did last year.
    I’m hopeful that Idol will retool it’s format next year, since they announced they would at upfronts. But then again, they say that every year, lol.

  • Anonymous

    P2, WGWG #5, FTW tonight.

  • Itsonlyidol

    Dialidol results show Phillip and Jessica too close to call.

  • Tinawina

    Phillip might not win.

  • Anonymous

    Are anyone’s teens even watching Idol much less voting?  And if so why would  a non-threatening  boy be attractive to the majority?  Isn’t that who most of their real boyfriends actually are?  Wouldn’t you vote for a girl crush or a wild threatening boy? 

    If they aren’t voting for the music, I don’t understand why they would vote for a type they have access to every day in english class.

  • Anonymous

    Dear non-white, non-male, non-guitar playing singers,

      If you want a career and go to the judge-centric crapfests that are the Voice or X Factor, then you are a fool.  Whether you win Idol or not, you will be miles ahead of being the Christina-Adam-Simon props you will be on those shows.

  • lct

    This sums up American Idol! :)

  • Anonymous

     Errr, tell that to One Direction. ;)
    Not saying that Idol doesn’t create stars (because it does). It just hasn’t created one outside of Scotty in the last few years.

  • Anonymous

     It’s not the teens who power votes for cute boys. It’s older women. That’s why VFTW calls them the Fraun.

  • WyndWalker

    Jessica is trending at #1 on Yahoo.

  • Anonymous

    i just…don’t care who wins anymore. this season’s been so exhausting and so frustrating.

  • Anonymous

    “And let us say right off, he has our undying admiration for declining to appear in Ford Music Video car promos all season.”  Washington Post

    IF he declined the ads, then will he also decline the car?

  • J

    “Home” was a trite trifle that involved very little actual singing, but all Phillip needed to do was get through two short stanzas, blend into the chorus, and not get stepped on by the marching band. His reward? The most ridiculous tsunami of overpraise the judges have committed to date. Phillip looked embarrassed to sing the song. Fortunately for him, Jessica’s “Change Nothing” was even worse.

  • Emily

     this, ever so much.

  • Anonymous

    Even if he doesn’t, Jessica’s win still wouldn’t feel right.  She’s looked bad two weeks in a row.  A win for her won’t change what the producers did to her this season, and remove the feeling that something about the show just isn’t right.  For me, this is the first time where the final two people standing aren’t the right people, and where the winner won’t be the most deserving out of the top 10 contestants.

  • Anonymous

    AI’s track record is still better than the UK X Factor’s, where their last WGWG winner was just dropped from his label.  One Direction didn’t win the XF.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah Baby

  • Anonymous

    It is  hard to give any relevance to these analysts when they keep trotting out the same old assessments  that never made sense in the first place.   

  • Anonymous

     Oh, if we’re talking just winners, you are correct, Idol does win that.
    But it’s fun to note that Kelly and Carrie are the only long term successful winners (Scotty has only been around for one year, so we’ll see). And in the UK, Leona and Alexandra were the only winners outside of last year’s to not be dropped.
    All female. :)

  • Tinawina

    Good points. I did say in the other thread that I think Jessica is kind of screwed no matter what happens for similar reasons.

    Ironically Phil losing would help him get buzz as the “shocking” loser, might make him more credible in his target genre, and hand him an outraged fanbase with something to prove in November. And he gets to dodge all the WGWG talk.

  • Thorne Brook

    DI’s prediction is “too close to call,” with Phillip having a 1.4% lead over Jessica. It was crazy how steadily the gap closed between the two during the West Coast voting period.

    Social Media Index puts Jessica in for a definite win. It’ll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.

  • Dee Miggel

    Now, who’s the real psychic here?

  • Anonymous

    disagree she looked “bad” … she did not fair well song wise on material she did not pick… My All, Jackson 5 ,crummy final song, Whitney .. she sang that stuff well, but was limited in what she could do … I am worried that the old farts that are running things have no idea about contemporary sound and will ruin her career by turning her into an AC artist because that us what they think is relevent …

  • Anonymous

    People keep saying this, but the incidence of texting for teens is about 5-6 times as high as for older adults.  There are still a few million in the demo and probably a few tweeners watching whose older HOH are the ones counted for Nielsen.

    You just can’t rule that vote out.

  • Tess

    But then Jessica chose to sing ‘The Prayer’ and that is as AC as you can get.  Besides, other than singing pretty much note for note, breath for breath on the “modern” songs she sang where does Jessica define herself.  I’m still trying to figure it out.

  • Kylee

     Too bad the lower place finishers do better than the winners of the Voice and X factor. Even James Durbin(a 4th place finisher), did better than the top 4 Voice contestants combined. Where is Javier these days? Where is Melanie these days?

    And I doubt the guitar had anything to do with Scotty’s win.

  • Kylee

     One Direction didn’t even win.

  • Cathy Knott

    Will he decline the winner Ford music car promo and the $100,000?

  • Anonymous

    These articles make me laugh every year. Some of them come across as not really ever watching many episodes of Idol. I wish those writing about the show would appreciate Idol for the entertainment it is. Just watch and enjoy! I’ll always be an Idol junkie no matter who wins each year. Looking forward to tonight!

  • Anonymous

    1. As far as Entertainment Weekly saying Idol is only better at home that’s only true when you end up at the finale(and are not in the first 10 rows). Idol is super fun at the normal shows when they don’t tape at the Nokia. Nokia is horrible.

    2. I want so bad for Jessica to pull out a last minute win just to silence everyone that doubted her and kept pimping P2.

  • Cathy Knott

    They spend months auditioning people for Idol.  They don’t audition them for their guitar playing skills but for their singing skills.  Then the Idol audience vote the worst singers of the top 36 as the American Idol.  You got me.

  • Enough already!

    Once again the judges are pandering to who they think should win and defeating the other contestant who deserved similar pandering.   These standing ovations the judges do would appear to be random, if not so often and obvious. I believe they are anything but random just obvious!   Be kind of funny if it backfired on them like it did the week before.   Wonder what type of crying fit Jlo will have?  Oh, you didn’t know the show was all about her?

  • J

    I have a feeling that Jessica will win. Phillip’s overpraised performance of his coronation song might have induced Jessica’s fans to engage in a voting frenzy. DialIdol was also too close to call. I’m excited for tonight!

    But of course I want Jessica to win. She’s literally my neighbor in Eastlake, Chula Vista! :)

  • Anonymous

    I would not have done the Prayer if i were her … I would have gone for Sweet Dreams or Stuttering … Most of her fans were pushing for the Prayer however … People thought it was a big deal tht she got voted off, or not voted back, on Stuttering and should not do it. I thought that was a bad reason to not reprise a far more modern song … I hated the judging, but will give credit to JLo telling her to stand up for herself with the music producers … for me she lost her edge when Jimmy criticized himself for not picking younger songs and then called her out for her outfit … if she loses but takes JLo’s advice to heart then the whole season will have been worth it …

  • lambkingal

    Get over it!  Stop saying that the women are always voting for the cute white boy.  There hasnt been an attractive male, white or otherwise, on Idol since Adam Lambert.  

  • lambkingal

    Older women havent voted for a cute boy since Adam Lambert because there havent been any cute boys since Adam Lambert.  Older women vote for the performer who pleases them the most. 

  • J


  • lambkingal

    All decent jobs have sick pay and health-related benefits.  Why should Idol be any different.  Decline the benefits?  Hell, no.  Would you?

  • Guest

    Dear everybody,

    DON’T audition for Season 12. Every 3 seasons of American Idol is a shitfest. Seasons 3, 6, and 9 are not well-liked, and the best person never won. Granted, they did get 4th, 3rd, and 2nd in that order, so maybe the next will be 1st, but you’ll still be on a garbage season.


    Mr. Genius here.

  • Beetle

    No, DialIdol shows Phillip ahead of Jessica.  Every year, DialIdol has correctly predicted the winner, even if it was close.  

  • Ellensue Stein

    How is a 16 year old going to stand up to seasoned producers? That’s not going to happen. Whatever happens with Jessica will all be what producers, writers and the powers at the label do with her, but so far they haven’t done much. At least Phillips has an identity and songwriting skills. He will survive whatever happens tonight. Jessica, see ya!

  • Natalie Blake

    Because if you’ll notice…it’s always the humble, nice guy that wins! David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery. America likes their boy next door types, and I say there’s nothing wrong with that. I look forward to another WGWG winner. Goooo Phillip!

  • Natalie Blake

    Though I like Phillip, I don’t adore him. I wanted Colton to win! Or even Joshua to get in the finale. Jessica’s too green.

  • Anonymous

     Why are only white males humble and nice enough to win in your opinion?